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Danja Mewes

Chattanooga, TN, United States

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28% response rate · Last login 10 days ago

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Overview

  • 32 Positive References
  • Fluent in English; learning Arabic, German, Malay, Spanish
  • 24, Female
  • Member since 2009
  • professional troll
  • BSc Applied Physics/Earth and Atmosp...
  • From Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

CURRENT MISSION

to hang purple swings in every city i visit!!!

ABOUT ME

language detail: fluent in English, decent in German (learned as child):
Ich kann auch Deutsch sprechen wenn du willst, aber ich bin nicht echt fließend beim sprechen (meine Leseverständnis ist fast perfekt, du musst nur langsam sprechen für mich, aber in meinem Kopf ich süche oft den richtigen Worten) :)

poor in Spanish, but we can get by:
Entiendo Castellano pero solo facil oraciones o que es necessito para cada dia vida (y poco otra, por ejemplo sustainibilidad y bicicletas). Lo siento :(

Malay and Arabic are just for fun, I know a few words of each. I am really interested in learning more Arabic. I also know some words of Russian and Finnish but I am not counting that! I can read texts in Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian and Danish and understand them to some degree. But I can't understand them when spoken.

i am working on abiding by the four agreements, but my semi-anarchist nature prevents me from really following any rules other than to love myself, and let that love grow into love for others. i am trying to grow myself and blossom into the butterfly i know i can become, but so far my wings seem to be those of a moth...

central to all my beliefs is the caving community, and the southern hospitality i was raised in (I am not the most hospitable person), even though my father is German and my mother is half Lithuanian.

I thoroughly enjoy a good debate or discussion, I am unlikely to take anything personally. I love collecting stories as much as telling them, so long as there is a balance. I also really enjoy people who work on self-improvement/actualization, fitness, and have art or building projects, even if meant and understood as a temporary display.

funny projects i have worked on in the past few years:
2010: the fire bike chariot (when i had a broken leg...so my friends and i attached a tricycle to two bikes, side by side...)

2011: the dodeckacycle (a 6 bike/12 wheel contraption)

2011 to present: Traveling Yoshi (http://travelingyoshi.tumblr.com)

2012 to present: The Purple Swing Project
(http://purpleswings.com)

2013: Smile you are beautiful :)(stickers on bar mirrors in Chattanooga with Ralph Edge)

2014: The Alunaris Treehouse in Colombia

2014 to present: redeVelo playgrount energy project (current functioning swing, working on a seesaw)

2015: International Women's Day art exhibit of 6 women in STEM, Chattanooga, TN

Please note a few things:
1) i am a vegetarian - have been for 13 years now! i eat eggs, dairy, etc - and i eat fish while traveling. i don't want to cause a problem, but if you put a big steak on my plate i won't eat it unless it is like the end of the world :P It actually hurt my stomach and makes me pretty sick, like a hangover would.
2) i do not feel comfortable sharing a sleeping surface with a host, sorry, please don't even get any ideas. I have a rule against sharing a sleeping surface with a host I have met through this site and formally accepted an offer through.

I tend to travel alone as a female so #2 is a big one for me. Please don't message me with creepy offers, it has happened. Believe me when I say I am not using this site to date, I have no problem when I am home dating and finding dates. When I travel I am dating my travels, and I travel for the sake of the stories I encounter.

Places i have been/expeditions i have been on:
-as a child: Germany (i have family there): Bamberg, Italy, Austria

-to the bottom of a LOT of deep caves (200 maybe by now, lots of times deep enough we use ropes)

-Greenland: scientific expedition to Summit Station, student assistant

-Belize & Guatemala: archaeology program

-Japan: Tokyo - a good friend lives there

-Moscow: first couch surfing experience in 2009!

-Africa: Namibia and Botswana, environmental field studies course - i looked at the social habits of zebras

-Malaysia: Borneo - cave research expedition to Mulu Park, also Mt. Kinabalu/Kota Kinabalu

-Nova Scotia, Canada: road trip with my mom

-road trip across the US with a friend (Atlanta - New Orleans - Houston - Austin - Hueco Tanks - Roswell - Phoenix - LA - SF: spent 3 months near SF)

-cave rescue course, Lava Beds National Park, CA, USA

-the great EuroTrip of 2013:
Prague- Czech Republic, Brno - CZ (for caving convention), Germany - Bamberg, Germany - Berlin, Austria - Salzbrug and a caving expedition to Schoenberg Hoehlensystem near Bad Aussee, Denmark - Copenhagen (one night), Norway... (Mo i Rana, Trondheim - one night, Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger)

-hitchhiked from Stavanger to Oslo to Gothenburg to Stockholm to Turku to Helsinki (picked up a CS friend there after he hosted me and we hit it off as travel buddies!) to Tallinn to Tartu to Riga to someplace in the middle of Latvia to Liepaja to Klaipeda to Vilnius to Kaunas to Warsaw to Krakow to Wroclaw to Berlin... took a train.... then hitchhiked again Bayreuth to Bamberg (where my dad is from)

-traveled by and with the bicycle (and lots of buses) from Lima, Peru to Nazca... hurried away from riots and took a bus to Cusco where I lived for 4 months , also traveling to Bolivia, including a hitchhiking journey with a friend to a festival and back, and the jungle. Stayed with some warmshowers hosts!

-ended up in Colombia where I couchsurfed (Cartagena) and rode part of the way to Santa Marta before getting a lift (!). Caught dengue during my stay and broke my leg among other things, but the treehouse 20m up is there and I had an incredible experience living with everyone in the Sierra mountains/jungle there.
-I have hitchhiked 56 times and 5000 km!! I am pretty proud of it :) I have pictures of almost every single driver

... i have a lot of stories, most of them not as a tourist! i'd be glad to share :)

I used to have a list on here of all the things I do and don't like. But let me summarize that with a few Cs I like, I don't know why C, but a lot of important things begin with C:
Colors(Bright not pastel) Cheese(especially Chipotle Cheese) Cherries Chocolate CouchSurfing! Caving Capes Crepes Cycling (Critical Mass!) Chocolate-chip-Cookies Climbing

I am one of those people who always looks for hidden passageways and messages everywhere, and hopes that each little door will keep leading to more passages and little doors. I get disappointed when they don't. I love urban exploring - seeing abandoned buildings that nature is reclaiming. It is the closest I get to fulfilling my childhood dream of having a toy castle with infinite doors. Whenever I visit a new city I'd rather see more of the old decaying buildings (urban exploration) and hole-in-the-wall spots than tourist sites.

LGBTQ+ friendly (no more custom HTML but imagine that as rainbow!), former president of the Gay-Straight alliance at my high school and familiar with standing up against opposition in a conservative southern town

sorry for the long profile, but i have gotten a variety of hosts, so i thought i'd put a little more of myself out there to try and explain what you're getting in this package of ME!

PHILOSOPHY

Hakuna Matata.

Where there is a will, there's a way (thanks Commander at Summit Station, Greenland!)

"Adventure is a path. Real adventure - self-determined, self-motivated, often risky - forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind - and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white." -Mark Jenkins

Why I'm on Couchsurfing

HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING

Hanging purple swings around cities as part of an urban art project :)

Smiling at random strangers that I can tell aren't from around here. We call it southern hospitality.

Other random art projects :P

I take people to the baddest joints in town and partake in debauchery. We break the law by riding bikes through red lights and hanging purple swings in trees around the city. Lucky for you, my gang is accepting applications for new members. We have a pretty high turnover rate because the swing hanging is such demanding work...

I partake in random trips to other lands sleeping on couches, floors and sometimes armchairs.

I want to host more people, but it is hard as a student. Maybe sometime soon!

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

Eventually after traveling alone to enough places you reach a point where no one else has shared enough of your life experiences to understand - you can't even try to explain, and it seems like you are on a different wavelength. it is a lonely place, like a violin strung with different strings, that can't quite harmonize with the rest of the orchestra. The majority of everyone else is looking at the UV and i am looking for the infrared - the people full of warmth, who will welcome you like a part of their family even as strangers. That, my friends, is beauty. Some days i find it and others i grapple with the reality that we are each living our own life, our imperfect perfection just a reflection of our own desires; our own fears, memories and ideas of the way the world works. These random different perspectives collide every day, sometimes resulting in the most beautiful interactions born out of the chaos of this thing we call life. All it takes is trust. Couch surfing is just one vessel for this beauty.

Interests

I am increasingly interested in the possibility that we actually live in a simulation.

I can talk for hours about random musings like that. Just try me. I am well-versed on a lot of topics and love debates as long as in the end we can agree to disagree. I won't take it personally.

otherwise: running, caving, climbing, bicycling, running (especially trails), science, politics, philosophy, rappelling, engineering, sustainability, art, writing, photography, geocaching, urban exploring, frisbee, animals (dogs and horses especially, but cats and others are fine too)

Music, Movies & Books

42: I have some but that is more closely aligned with my interests.
As in, Lewis Carroll coined "42" but it also appears in Douglas Adams' works...

Most recent books I've read and enjoyed (2014-15):
The Mathematics of Love, Blueprints of the Afterlife, The Story of B, Ender's Game series (there are almost a dozen books in total! I have one left)

Movies I thoroughly enjoy that I happen to remember the names of:
most indie and foreign films, Feuchtgebiete (Wetlands), The Triplets of Belleville, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Dark Crystal, Being John Malkovich, Waking Life, The Painting, L'Iceberg

One Amazing Thing I've Done

I stood on Kjeragbolten, a rock wedged between cliffs, 1000 meters of air below it - in Norway, and camped by it for a night (with the CSer David Ginn). and i am afraid of heights!

I have been down the deepest cave in this part of the United States, rappelling 440ft on a rope (I go caving a lot).

I stood at the top of a 14,000 ft peak - Mount Kinabalu in Borneo and looked down on the clouds. From that moment on, nothing could defeat me - I climbed up there and down in one day, and managed to make it down in time to get back to KK for dinner. That taught me that I was and am capable of anything - to see all the monstrous peaks rising up out of the ground next to me, but still lower than where I stood was something I cannot describe in words other than "breath-taking".

I have walked in some of the biggest cave passages in the world in Sarawak, Borneo.

I have had lions pass right in front of my car and stare me in the eyes in Namibia. I've run for my life in the jungle from a hippo.

I have partaken in an archaeology dig and held pieces of history in my hands, unearthing them on a regular basis under the hot sun of Belize.

I have spent a month surrounded by white, where 20*F became shorts weather and my tent would freeze shut. (Greenland).

I found an abandoned castle tower on a mountain in Austria that overlooked the town below.

I walked inside a Buddha, participated in a traditional green tea ceremony, got to experience what it's like to be sushi in a Tokyo metro, learned to make sushi, wrote a wish/ema for my troubled friends and saw a traditional Japanese wedding.

I traveled to Moscow and got to see a dacha and experience Russian life from many angles, even see a contemporary play/art performance and walk the streets for a km in nothing but socks (my feet hurt!)

I find amazing adventures everyday.

Teach, Learn, Share

What if the sun was a cube?

think about this - why you should love physics:
without chaos, life would be too boring
without friction, life would be a lot more amusing (and maybe painful)
without gravity we could leap really high, but we'd have to chase after our drinks if we accidentally let them go, and if your dog saw a rabbit it wanted to eat there wouldn't be any fence to stop it...

Countries I've Visited

Austria, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greenland, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Namibia, Norway, Peru, Poland, Russian Federation, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom

Countries I've Lived In

Belize, Botswana, Colombia, Greenland, Malaysia, Namibia, Peru, United States

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